Wednesday, June 15 – Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

thenest  sweeney

My guest this week is Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, who has written a debut novel with the confidence and authority of a seasoned fiction writer, and, it seems, has easily entered that territory of contemporary fiction occupied by Meg Wolitzer or Penelope Lively, complex interconnected character-driven stories with sharply observed sociology and, of course, the complications and empathetically if wryly observed self-destructive behavior of stand-ins for people we all know, who make bad decisions often based on ignorance or foolish expectations.  In her novel The Nest, the Plumb family – a wicked funny last name — trust is in peril, in every sense of the word trust, with three younger grown-up siblings at the mercy of their older brother, reckless, irresponsible if often charming.  Their “nest,” a substantial savings, an inheritance left by their late father, upon which they have each counted, is now in doubt, at risk, and otherwise the tension-inspiring plot feature here, not to mention the focus of their own family lives, careers, even identities.  By turns funny, warm, mean but always empathetic, Sweeney’s novel embraces the intimate details of their lives even as we see them as players in the extremely well-described and urgent dramatic portrait of struggle in the city, New York, in which they live, or try to live, beyond their means, and despite it all.  Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney earned an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars and lives in Los Angeles.  The Nest, her first novel, has already become a New York Times bestseller and received all kinds of popular and critical acclaim. Thanks for listening live on the radio on your computer or, whenever you like as a download from the KPFK Audio Archives.  Support community radio.  “Friend” Bibliocracy Radio on Facebook.  Please consider purchasing books by the authors featured on this radio program.